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Diabetes Flight 48 would like to thank the following...

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People behind the fund-raising dinner & flight:

Douglas CairnsDouglas Cairns
In 1989, Douglas Cairns was a British Royal Air Force jet pilot at the age of 25 when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and consequently lost his flying career. In 2000 he regained the freedom to fly in the USA as a licenced private pilot, and then went on to complete "Diabetes World Flight" in 2003, the first round-the-world flight by a pilot with type 1 diabetes.

Douglas currently works as an Investment Specialist with Threadneedle Investment Management, London, for Asia & Global Emerging Markets equities. Since completing his world flight Douglas has set five world speed records and two transcontinental speed records in the USA in the Diabetes World Flight "Beech Baron."


James D’Arcy
In September 2004 James was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He had held his flying licence for 17 years, and through careful diet and 'acceptable' medication managed to retain it until December 2006 when he went on to Insulin. This signalled the end of his flying hopes. In Jan 2009 he was approached by Douglas to be his co-pilot for flight 48. James regained his medical on Tuesday 9th June and revalidated his Flying licence on Friday 12th June in order to take part in the attempt the following week.

James is a head hunter and runs the asset management practice for The Rose Partnership. In 2001 he took part in and won the London to Sydney air race in his Aerostar Super 700 ‘The Spirit of Kai Tak’ and is hoping to be similarly successful on this flight.


Karl Beetson
In March 2007, aged 17 years old Karl was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He has discovered that although a few doors close, many open up with amazing opportunities to be seized. He has a burning passion for aviation which he picked up from his childhood visits to the flight deck and he still maintains his ultimate ambition to become a professional pilot despite regulations which currently prevent him. Being a perseverant and ambitious character he co-founded Pilots with Diabetes and through this he was introduced to Douglas.

Karl is currently about to start his final year of an Aerospace Engineering Degree at the University of Hertfordshire and he hopes to undertake a masters degree at Cranfield University. He is also aiming to start his own business which may help to finance his re-training for a career in medicine to focus upon endocrinology.

Karl will be providing Technical support for Diabetes Flight 48, co-ordination of GPS real-time tracking system for display upon the website as well as uploading new content to the website as the adventure unfolds. He will also be dealing with communications and meeting various supporters whilst en-route.


David Rafique
David will accompany Douglas on Flight 48 armed with his trusty video camera. He studied film at St Martins School of Art, and drama at The City Lit (both in London UK). He divides his time between working as a cinematographer and devising and producing films through Ditch Digger Films. He recently shot his first feature film for Celestial Pictures London ("Badinage") and played a hamster called "Fluffy" in Aardman Animation’s "Creature Comforts" for ITV in Britain. A life long advocate of motion-sickness in all its forms, he can’t wait to get airborne.



Anna Bennetts
Anna met Dougie Cairns in Bangkok in the 90s where she was working for CDC doing public health research. After leaving Thailand Anna went to film school and since that time she has been creating films and theatre in Perth, Australia, and now London. She wrote and directed the award winning short film Unlock for Channel 4 and SBS (Australia) and the short comedy Chiko Roll: An Australian Oddyssey. This year her play The Same Paige was part of the Sit Com Trials at Leicester Square Theatre and another play Delusion of Doubt was on at the New End Theatre in May. Anna is thrilled to be writing the script for Dougies short film about Flight 48 and helping with production logistics. www.annabennetts.com.


Deborah ParkerDeborah Parker
Deborah was diagnosed with diabetes type 2 in October 2008. She subsequently was diagnosed with type 1 in May 2009. She regularly works and speaks for Cancer Research UK following her 3 year treatment for breast cancer.

Deborah  lives and works in London. For the past year she has worked for ESAB Holdings where she is a Project Manager. Prior to moving to London in 2000 she has lived and worked in Boston, USA; Johannesburg, South Africa; Mumbai, India; Hong Kong, PRC; where she worked in a variety of roles including Cross-Cultural Training & Investment Banking. She lived in Switzerland for 15 years where she went to the International School of Geneva.


Melanie ParkerMelanie Parker
Melanie lives and works in Berkshire. She has spent her career in the hospitality industry working for Rank Hotels, Hilton and InterContinental Hotels enjoying roles in procurement and hotel refurbishments. She currently works for Devere Venues as their UK Property Asset Manager for 12 years with responsibility for refurbishment and development projects for their 30 Conference & Hotel Venues - this being an accidental career of 25 years but a much enjoyed one.

Having been educated in the early years in Switzerland at the International School of Geneva has a passion for skiing, sailing & organising!


Alan Rogers
Alan is a retired airline Chief Steward, originally from Liverpool but based in Berkshire for many years. Having travelled extensively through his job (33 years of long-haul flying) he now enjoys spending his time with feet firmly on the ground working on refurbishment projects at home, playing golf and sailing on the Solent on the good ship ‘Rocketeer’. He has a passion for wine, being involved in two wine appreciation clubs and organising tastings, tours and presentations.

Alan has a family connection to diabetes with his brother being diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 47 and his mother with type 2 in her 80’s.



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